Ampersand (&) in real name/full name replaced by login

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Ampersand (&) in real name/full name replaced by login

Postby TimmermanV on Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:11 am

Does/should Linux Mint adhere to the "FreeBSD File Formats Manual" when it comes to the passwd file?

If you choose to install Linux Mint using a name that includes an ampersand, you'll be surprised at the results. (at least, I was) In many cases where the user's name is being displayed, the ampersand is replaced by a capitalized version of the user's login name.

In Xfce, Whisker Menu does this. In MATE, both the locked screen dialog and the Configuration Center's "About me" does this. However, "Users and Groups" does not replace the ampersand.

I found that this behavior is due to glib's g_get_real_name which implements the following passage from man passwd in "FreeBSD File Formats Manual". http://www.manpages.info/freebsd/passwd.5.html

(...)
If an ampersand (`&') character appears
within the fullname field, programs that use this field will substitute
it with a capitalized version of the account's login name.
(...)

I found this to be confusing as a new user and would suggest warning the user about the use of '&' (or even disallowing its use). At least make it consistent throughout Linux Mint.
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Re: Ampersand (&) in real name/full name replaced by login

Postby TimmermanV on Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:11 am

I guess this forum was the wrong place to post about this issue. That, or no one cares. :P
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Re: Ampersand (&) in real name/full name replaced by login

Postby Pilosopong Tasyo on Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:54 am

TimmermanV wrote:That, or no one cares.

It may have never occurred to you that perhaps it's just a simple case of no one [technical enough] has a definitive answer to your question. Just because you didn't get an answer doesn't mean people don't care. :wink:

Yes, you may be using Linux Mint, but bear in mind that your question (the ampersand in the username vis-a-vis the passwd file) is broad enough that it's possible that it applies to other distros, not just Mint. It is common knowledge that the main edition uses Ubuntu as its base so apart from asking here, you might want to ask in the Ubuntu forum as well.
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Re: Ampersand (&) in real name/full name replaced by login

Postby TimmermanV on Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:37 am

Pilosopong Tasyo wrote:It may have never occurred to you that perhaps it's just a simple case of no one [technical enough] has a definitive answer to your question. Just because you didn't get an answer doesn't mean people don't care. :wink:

I know, I know. :P That's actually what I meant by this forum not being the right place to post about the issue (- no one here knows how to answer this question). I didn't mean to sound rude.

I tried bringing the issue to the attention of MATE devs, but my bug report got closed quickly.
https://github.com/mate-desktop/mate-co ... issues/109
The issue seems to be originating from within glib. However, it's not a bug. Glib is working exactly as intended. (see link for details)

In the end, the result is quite unhelpful to the end-user (imho). It leaves me puzzled as to where I can go with this issue.
I'll try an Ubuntu forum later as you suggested.
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Re: Ampersand (&) in real name/full name replaced by login

Postby Flemur on Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:59 am

It leaves me puzzled as to where I can go with this issue.

Make a new account without special characters in the username; then copy the settings from the old account and delete it.
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Re: Ampersand (&) in real name/full name replaced by login

Postby TimmermanV on Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:07 pm

Thanks. That's not what I meant by that.
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